View all newsletters
Receive our newsletter - data, insights and analysis delivered to you
  1. Technology
  2. Emerging Technology
January 31, 2020updated 18 Jul 2022 7:30am

“Auntie, Go Inside!” China Turns to Drones to Enforce Coronavirus Quarantine

Dystopian, or a critical quarantine enforcement method?

By CBR Staff Writer

As China fights to keep the spread of the coronavirus in check, it has turned to drones to help keep its citizen compliant with quarantine procedures — in a move that may strike readers as deeply dystopian, or profoundly pragmatic.

“Staying at home is contributing to society”, a drone operator tells people in this video shared by China’s Global Times, which shows speaker equipped drones flying around rural and urban areas issuing personalised warnings.

In the video we see an elderly lady being castigated as the drone tells her “You shouldn’t walk around without wearing a mask”

Another operator dresses down a man working in a snow covered field telling him that he should do the work in a few days: “Don’t laugh”, the operator says: “Now get on your cart and go home immediately.”

Content from our partners
Scan and deliver
GenAI cybersecurity: "A super-human analyst, with a brain the size of a planet."
Cloud, AI, and cyber security – highlights from DTX Manchester

Thanks to its arm’s length nature drone technology has been used to assess the damage and view empty streets in some of the more heavily infected areas in China by media and government alike.

China Drones Coronavirus

In some places there are reports of industry drones – normally used to spray pesticides on crops – being used by towns to spray disinfectant across wide areas in an attempt to hold back the virus.

Chinese gadget review site Gizchina has detailed how some villages have re-purpose drones used for farming to help spray disinfectant around the village.

There are also reports of more official disinfectant campaigns as captured by citizen who have uploaded footage of numerous drones spraying towns with liquid.

Use of Robotic Technology

In both the US and China, health officials are using robots to treat infected patients in a manner that protects healthcare workers by reducing physical contact with the sick.

While many will see these images as the start of a dystopian type of population control, the fact that robotic and drone technology could be instrumental in containing viral outbreaks like this – now and in the future – can not be ignored.

Note: Computer Business Review was not able to independently confirm that the drone footage is genuine. The Global Times, however, is part of the Chinese Communist Party’s People’s Daily and its Twitter account is verified. 

See Also: Flying Blind: 70% of Airport Websites Contain Vulnerabilities

Websites in our network
Select and enter your corporate email address Tech Monitor's research, insight and analysis examines the frontiers of digital transformation to help tech leaders navigate the future. Our Changelog newsletter delivers our best work to your inbox every week.
  • CIO
  • CTO
  • CISO
  • CSO
  • CFO
  • CDO
  • CEO
  • Architect Founder
  • MD
  • Director
  • Manager
  • Other
Visit our privacy policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.